“Attention: The Heat Wave Is Coming—BEWARE!”
The title of a recent viral message floating around WhatsApp could very well be titled that. According to the message, it states that there is an equinox phenomenon which will be affecting Malaysians beginning March 20th. It would explain why there has been tweets and status updates stating how hot it is. Well, it would continue to be hot for 5 days from the start of the equinox.
Occurring twice a year in March and September, the equinox happens when the sun crosses the celestial equator from the south to the north. The act of our sun travelling the distance causes us to feel warm as the earth’s axis is usually tilted at about 23.4 degrees. However on the date of the equinox, the tilt of the earth’s axis is actually perpendicular to the sun’s rays. Hence the reason why we are sweating buckets!
While it may just sound like just an inconvenience to be dripping in sweat literally all of the time, it is actually more serious than that. With temperatures capable of reaching 40 degrees, it could easily cause dehydration or sun stroke and it is dangerous even more so for the elderly and kids. Here are some ways that you could tough it out for the next 5 days and not let the 40 degrees heat wave get to you.
1. Drink up.
On every other ordinary day, we would hear the age-old advice to drink up our 8 glasses of water but it is even more important to do so during the equinox. For those who do not have the tendency to feel thirst, it is easy to forget to guzzle their H20. There’s an app for everything and there are even apps to remind you to drink your water such as Waterbalance and Hydro Coach.
Alternatively, you could always go old school and grab a marker pen to mark down several times of the day that you should be filling up with liquid. It’s easy to forget to reach for our bottle or mug of water when we are busy at work or classes, and if you are one who is quick to forget how to, this should help. Also, if you engage in fitness activities, you should drink more to replenish on the lost fluid.
2. Take more showers.
The weather is relentless and it makes sense to jump into the shower more often because it helps to cool our body temperature down. Schedule alarm reminders on your cellphone to take the showers and if you are outdoors, bring along a facial spray to freshen yourself up. If you don’t have one in hand, you could head to a restroom to sprinkle yourself with some water or wash your face to both freshen up and cool down at the same time.
3. Purchase your groceries online or at night.
If you cannot bear lugging your groceries to your car during the day whilst flicking away beads of sweat with the back of your free hand, then why not do your grocery shopping online for the week? There are numerous sites to do, including of Tesco Online store, or HappyFresh.
Alternatively, if you still want to do your groceries in person, choose to do it after work or during weekend nights. It’s still getting the same job done but you could avoid being outdoors during 12-3pm, which is said to be the time to stay indoors during Equinox week.
4. Wear breathable clothing.
Whether you are staying indoors or heading outdoors for the upcoming week, do away with thick clothing and opt for breathable material or loose fit tops. Tank tops do well too as generally the less material, the more your skin is exposed to external cold factors such as indoor air-conditioning or a breeze.
5. Focus on your pulse points.
If you are experiencing a meltdown in the heat, one way to quickly gain your composure would be to focus applying cold pressure on your pulse points. This would be your wrist, neck, elbow and the back of your knees. Get ice packs and hold them on your skin for several minutes to cool down instantly.
6. Drink more soups.
Yes, soup is essentially liquid, but it does not hurt to get more liquid-based food into your diet. The same goes for smoothies as well, and they hydrate as well as fill you up, hence killing two birds with one stone. Besides soups and smoothies, have more vegetables and lighter meals. This would mean that you are easier on your digestive system and have less food to process. It would make you feel better physically as well.
Lastly, remember that the heat wave will be here for approximately one week only and if all else fails, stay indoors as much as possible and utilise the air conditioner and fans. It also does not hurt to have ice drinks every few hours as you anticipate the end of the dreaded equinox.